Everything about eSports
We are a site that celebrates everything eSports. It’s true that eSports is a hobby that’s becoming more popular as people are taking their love of computer games and competing with other game lovers on bigger and better levels. There are now eSport teams, leagues and tournaments that top players can compete in to move their gaming up to the next level.
The concept of eSports originated around 1972, when the first known video game competition of Spacewar took place. This was originally described as an ‘Intergalactic Spacewar Olympics’. The competition was a 5 man, free for all, competition which was won by Bruce Baumgard, alongside a team competition which was won by Tovar and Robert E. Maas. This competition was followed very quickly by the Space Invaders Championships, brought into the arena by Atari which was on a much bigger scale – attracting well over 10,000 players across the United States of America. Thus, eSports entered the main competitive arena.
Here at voo.to we are celebrating this amazing concept, that gives skilful and top eSports players the chance to take to the stage and showcase their skills. Nowadays, eSports takes the form of regular, well-organised multi-player video game competitions between mainly professional players. The genre of games that most commonly come under the eSports umbrella are real-time strategy games, fighting games, first person shooter games (FPS), along with multi-player online battle arena games (MOBA).
The top players can then take part in huge tournaments such as The International, the League of Legends World Championships, the Evolution Championship Series as well as the Intel Extreme Masters that all provide live broadcasts of the competition and offers some decent prize money to competitors. These tournaments and competition are organised both online and offline and started off being mainly between amateur players, but in the 2000s the inclusion of professionals and allowing people to spectate these tournaments saw the popularity surge. As a result of this rise in popularity, many game developers have embraced this and actively design games towards a professional eSport subculture.
It is established that now well-over 71.5 million people around the world watch eSports of some type. This is aided by the increasing availability of online streaming media platforms – Twitch.tv. being one of the most popular. This site has become a major reason behind the growth of eSports. The most popular games that attach themselves to the growth of the eSporting arena are arcade games such as the multi-player online battle arena games: DOTA 2 and League of Legends. Other games that contribute significantly are: FPS game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as well as Smite, StarCraft II, Call of Duty, Heroes of Storm, Hearthstone and Overwatch.
Voo.to – About Us
With the rise of eSports, we want to look at the types of players this massive past-time attracts. We know that demographically, the Major League Gaming has reported viewership of the games as being very male dominated, with 85% being male and 15% being female, most between the ages of 18 – 34 years old. However, there are some great female eSports personalities that are trying to bring about the increase of female presence in this field. We are going to be looking at some of the different fans of eSports, finding out what games the love the most, what brought them to the eSports arena and find out exactly what it is that attracts them to this exciting world of video games.
The people who watch the games and tournaments are the people who keep eSports alive and popular. We want to see exactly where they got their love of eSports, how did they get to know about it and where this love of the game will take them. Having gone under the mainstream radar for so long, having attracted millions of players and spectators like, here at voo.to we believe it deserves even more recognition and the fans of the sport should be as celebrated as the players. Here are the stories of seven eSports mega fans.
Ruby, 23 comes from London in the UK and has been a keen eSports fan since she was just 14 years old, when she was introduced to it by her two elder brothers. Although she feels that there are many females of her own age that can’t really understand her fascination with eSports, it’s something that she can’t explain fully to people and they have to experience it to fully understand her attraction. The genre that first attracted her attention was the MOBA games. She was initially attracted to games such as Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Defence of the Ancients. She described seeing those games when she was younger as being “transported to an exciting and fantastical new world, where reality felt like an illusion. Watching those teams trying to destroy their opponent’s Ancient was intense.”
Defence of the Ancients (DOTA) became more popular and because of this, a sequel was created, and Ruby describes the release of this sequel as one of the most exciting times in her eSports life. Because it is such a popular game – not just with her and her brothers, but throughout the eSports world, Ruby gets to enjoy some amazing tournaments, which she describes as the highlight of her year. Ruby describes the release of DOTA 2 in 2011 like it was yesterday.
“I remember when it was first released to the public, just after my birthday in 2011. I watched its release at The International and was blown away by the $1 million grand prize. I never knew that it could reward players with such massive prizes! I really don’t think that there had ever been a prize that big, and I couldn’t believe I got to witness the moment it was won, on this amazing new game. Since then, I’ve watched it being played so many times, and it never, ever bores me. Each time it has a new magic that just enraptures me into the game all over again. That’s the magic of the game. I couldn’t believe it when again it featured at The International a few years later – I think in 2015, when the prize was $18 million and the year after that it was $20 million. To think I was overwhelmed by the $1 million just a few years ago. DOTA and DOTA 2 have changed my life and just enriched the world of eSports. I love it.”
Nekodorif is an 18-year-old boy who is currently based in Ohio. He tells us that the reason he first got involved in watching and enjoying eSports was when he was introduced to the game League of Legends when he was only 11 years old. He had a go at playing the game, but wanted to get better and so, while looking for online tips and hints, he stumbled across the 2010 World Cyber Games in Los Angeles, where this game was headlining. Well, what started off as a quick browse of the internet turns into what he describes as “an intense experience. I just watched it and could stop watching it. It was insane. I was getting to watch these amazing players playing a game that I was trying to play. I couldn’t believe how skilful they were. I was blown away. Being part of this competitive online-game that mixes the speed and intensity of an RTS with the best RPG elements just thrills me. I love watching as players battle head-to-head across different levels and game modes.”
When he recalls how he felt as the tournament drew to a close, he said “I remember it so clearly, like it was yesterday as it had such a massive effect. The Counter Logic team won and I remember thinking ‘wow’, when they got a prize of $7,000. I didn’t think you could win money playing these games. That was the moment that changed my life. That game got me hooked and I started following it more closely. I had no idea there would be a World Championship in the game, so when I read up about it, I was like, cool. I would get the chance to watch some of the best players in the world playing my game. Awesome. Obviously, I was a little gutted when the European team beat the USA team, but it was still amazing. I think they won something like $100,000 which is insane!”
Although he says he loves playing games and does play competitively between his friends, it’s definitely the watching the games that has caught his imagination the most. “Obviously, I support USA teams the most, but it’s fascinating to watch the other teams playing. When the Taipei Assassins beat Azubu Frost to win the $1 million prize, I didn’t care that is was Taiwan against Korea, I just cared that it was one of the most exciting games I’d ever seen. I just love it. It gets better every year.”
CNC is a pretty quiet and private player who likes a little anonymity. He hasn’t been into eSports for very long as he was only recently introduced to it by his girlfriend. She has been a keen eSports spectator and player for years. They met last year at a gaming convention and struck up a conversation about their favourite game franchise – Halo. Up until this point, CNC had been playing the games online against his friends, and the idea of watching other people play the game hadn’t occurred to him. It was only when his girlfriend introduced him to Twitch.tv that he realised that watching it was as exciting as playing it… and he could pick up some pretty handy tips from the world’s best players.
His story started when he got his first Xbox. He played around with many genres of games, from football FIFA games to race games. However, when he was bought Halo for Christmas one year, he was hooked and played it from beginning to end with no stopping. This started his love of the game and from then on, he followed the series avidly.
“It was weird, when I first got my Xbox, it was just fun. I played for a couple of hours here and there, but was able to pull myself away from it. The I was given Halo and it just got me. I started the game and physically couldn’t put the game down until I completed it. I just really loved the way the military gets mixed with elements of sci-fi. You really feel like you’re part of that interstellar war and fighting against the Covenant. I’ve done the same with every game in the series since. I thought I’d never meet anyone that would put up with me until I met my girlfriend. We met at a gaming convention and she was as obsessed with it as me – maybe even more. She didn’t just play it, she watched it being played too. She told me about Twitch.tv and that was it, I was hooked. Here’s nothing I like more than us chilling out together watching one of the big tournaments.
When asked about how he felt the tournaments were going he responded. “Well, it’s been on and off really, sometimes it’s dropped off the radar completely, which is a little disappointing. When that happens though, we tend to watch Call of Duty. I think it’s going to get even better now though as I’ve read that Halo 5 has been built to be big in the eSports arena. Apparently, there’s going to be a 4v4 competition at the Halo World Championship with a $2 million prize hosted by 343 industries again! Hopefully here’s to happier days for Halo”.
Another fan of the multi-player online battle arena games is Takasho_Brass. Hailing all the way from Down Under, Australian Takasho_Brass is a massive fan of Smite. This is a game that puts players in control of mythological Gods from a third-party perspective. He first became familiar with the game when he downloaded it onto his Mac. Being well into his computer, he was thrilled when the game first came to his attention back in 2015. He says that the first thing that attracted him to the game was “the idea of third party action which allowed me to get right into the heart of the game. Also, the graphics were cool as. I think what keeps me so hooked though is the constant updates on the game. Every two or so weeks there are some crazy fast updates to the game available, which means it’s actually impossible to get bored if it. There’s always new content, which means I can play new gods all the time and take part in more in game events.”
So, Takasho_Brass is a very experienced player, but does he take part in all the tournaments and events? “Well, I love playing some of the in-game events of course, every player does. I’m currently trying to work my way to becoming a Grandmaster. I’d absolutely love to work my way to the top and play in front of the crowds at the Smite World Championships. I couldn’t believe it when I saw that just by playing my favourite game I could work my way up and win million-dollar prizes. I remember last year I got to watch the Smite World Championship Series and it lasted for months. The qualifiers were pretty cool. I don’t think it’ll be too long before I’m at least good enough for those. I’m getting good at choosing the right god to play with and choosing the right tactics to beat my opponent. I also love taking part in the team based combat elements as it’s fun working with other players and not just against them. Anyway, when the actual championship took place and I saw that the prize pool was over $2 million it got even more exciting. Watching America beat Europe was one of the best days ever.”
Level-Blue is just 19 years old and started playing his favourite game, Call of Duty when he was at school. “All my friends were playing it. I remember when the new games would come out and we’d all be up really late playing the game, chatting and seeing how far we could get. I’m sure my school work suffered the next day as we were always tired the day after. It was just too addictive to put down. I’d literally keep on playing until I was falling asleep on the controls. I love it because it’s so simple and easy to get into. Every time there was a new release coming out, it was the first thing we’d talk about, then all go out and buy it together. Black Ops was the best. The day I got that was literally, the best day ever. It just was impossible to stop. Anyway, one day my mate’s brother told me that they actually have championships and tournaments with this game. I never even knew. I thought playing computer games was just for fun, I really didn’t know that you could actually play it against other people in tournaments for money. That just took it to the next level. One day, I’m hoping that will be me.
So, we asked him what tournaments he watched and what he thought about the teams and tournaments that were shown.
“Well, my friend’s brother told me about the Call of Duty World League and it opened up a whole new world for me. I learned all about OpTic gaming and what they did with the game. I started following Damon ‘Karma’ Marlow, Seth ‘Scump’ Abner, Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter and Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper. To me, they are the best plyers in the best team in the world. I love watching them play. I can’t believe they’ve never won a World Championship though, as they have been such a big name in the game. I’m really looking forward to the Call of Duty WWII tournament in Dallas, which I’ll definitely be watching online. Hopefully in January I’ll be able to get tickets to the tournament in Atlanta in March for my birthday. That would be great.”
Five years ago, the world of eSports opened up to Nekooni. He might not be a big fan of some of the most popular games, and claims he never got drawn into the world of Black Ops or Dark Souls. However, when he tried Starcraft, he was swept away. “I was bought a really old game about five years ago, called Starcraft. I hadn’t heard of it, but my nan knew I had a computer and I think it was quite cheap in one of the shops because it was old. I thought I’d give it a go, although I wasn’t convinced… but it was surprisingly good. I am a bit of a sci-fi fan, so I was hooked as soon as I first started playing. It’s set in a distant sector of the Milky Way galaxy and I get to use my brain and come up with strategies. It’s just a lot more than a shoot ‘em game, which I like. It didn’t take me long to get through the first one and then I managed to find the sequel which came out in 2010. I was pretty stoked to find it.
Actually, last year I decided to see if I could enter one of the leagues. I had to compete in 5 games, so they could see how good I was before they assigned me to a league. It was very exciting. Actually, it was pretty exciting when they said I could play in the silver league, as I was worried that I’d be straight into the practice league or even the bronze league, so silver is pretty good – hopefully in the next year I’ll move up to gold. You never know, I might be in the Grand Master league one day. I’m part of a division called the Artika division, where I get to play with people that are similar to me. At the end of the season, I’ll get to play in my first tournament with hopes of becoming League Champion. I can wish. It’s really exciting that I’m getting to do this. The Starcraft II World Championship Series Global Finals are on right now, so seeing where I am now and where I could be at some time in the future is so exciting. I mean, some of these players have earned almost $500,000 just for playing a game they love. I could live with that.
Another girl who is big on the eSports scene is Kaztok. She is actually one of the older players who has been a fan of the gaming scene for years. She and her husband are both big fans of online gaming and eSports, with both of them having their favourite games. Kaztok is a huge fan of Quake although her husband is more of a fan of the Killer Instinct Series. Although, she doesn’t mind that series of games, she’ll always prefer Quake. This game is pretty new to the eSports arena, but it seems to have gathered pace quickly and earned a whole load of fans. But why? “Well”, Kaztok tells us, “I did used to like a game called Doom, which was all about this multiplayer deathmatches, but Quake has taken it to a whole new level. It’s just the best online shooter game around – especially now it’s gone competitive.”
She continued “I started playing the game and re-playing it when I finished and then started looking things up online to see what else there was. That was when I first heard about these brilliant players, Alexey Yanushevsky and Dennis Throng. Watching them play just opened it up even more to me. It was like a whole new world again. It went a little quiet for a while, which was a bit disappointing, so I just started watching Killer Instinct games, but then I heard that the game was returning and was going to keep its charm as an old school first person shooter game. It’s so exciting that Blizzard is going to start bringing back tournaments and we can start enjoying the game again. The skill that these professional players have is amazing. That’s why it’s just incredible to watch them, it’s just like watching the best professional athletes in the world go head to head. I can’t wait to start watching those pros show the rest of us how it’s done. Next year is going to be bigger and better than ever for Quake and I’m one excited lady.”